Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Dermatol. 2005 Sep;153(3):544-8.

Immunoelectron-microscopic detection of globotriaosylceramide accumulated in the skin of patients with Fabry disease.

Author information

Anatomy, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890-8520, Japan.



Fabry disease is characterized by the systemic accumulation of glycosphingolipids, particularly in the lysosomes of vascular endothelial cells of most organs due to the deficient activity of alpha-galactosidase A. The major glycolipid accumulated in tissue is globotriaosylceramide (GL-3). To date, no direct detection of GL-3 by immunoelectron microscopy has been reported.


To examine whether GL-3 is accumulated exclusively in lysosomes of cutaneous cells using an anti-GL-3 monoclonal antibody (mAb) and immunoelectron microscopy.


Skin specimens from seven patients with Fabry disease were examined immunohistochemically by light and electron microscopy using an anti-GL-3 mAb.


By light microscopy, the cytoplasm of vascular endothelial cells, eccrine gland cells, and perineurium was stained with mouse anti-GL-3 antibody. Electron microscopically, positive signals for GL-3 were limited to dilated lysosomes in the cytoplasm of endothelial cells, pericytes, eccrine gland cells, dermal fibroblasts and perineurium.


Our results demonstrate that the cytoplasmic deposit in Fabry disease was GL-3 and the accumulated GL-3 was localized essentially to lysosomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center